Birds of the shore are common in the spring in parts of eastern Oregon. Why? Because flood irrigation is one of the main methods used to water the crops. As the snow melts off surrounding mountains, it collects in rivers and reaches the lower elevations.
It is released in controlled amounts in the Harney Basin, where 320 bird species congregate. This ancient method of irrigation benefits the rancher and the birdwatcher.
Birds such as sandhill cranes take advantage of all of that water. You can see flocks of them in the photo above and a single bird below.
I love seeing delicate long-legged beauties such as black-necked stilts and American avocets.
If you’re lucky, you may even see a Wilson’s snipe. Yes, they really do exist.
Flood irrigation creates temporary ponds and lakes with miles and miles of shoreline.
I saw quite a few long-billed curlew this spring. I was dive-bombed by one once when I was too close to her nest. That bill is dangerous looking! It can measure more than eight and a half inches in length.
Thousands of Ross’ and snow geese congregate in this area.
Waterfowl are common in the ponds and lakes. Here is a raft of ducks. This image is a little blurry but I included it to show the difference between canvasbacks and redhead ducks. The pair on the far left are redheads. See how the plumage is more gray? There are lots of opportunities to get clear views of many species.
You may see elegant swans as well. Trumpeter and tundra swans have been seen here.
You will be amazed when you spot unique birds of the shore, such as this American bittern. Keep your binoculars handy when traveling through this country in the spring and you will be rewarded.
Lens Artists Photo Challenge – Seascapes and/or lakeshore
9 thoughts on “Birds of the Shore: LAPC”
A beautiful collection of birds!
Oregon is a beautiful state. Thank you for taking us to this part of Oregon for birding. These birds are special and beautifully captured. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
Thank you so much for joining in. 🙂
What a beautiful collection Siobhan! I had no idea our shorebirds and yours would be so similar. I’m dying to see sandhill cranes. That is a gorgeous species we don’t see here. Loved your take on this week’s challenge
Amazing the numbers in which waders can congregate after an inundation. I always wonder though how they know the water’s arrived in a particular area. During droughts they don’t arrive en masse to a dry destination, so they must know in some way!
Yes, the wildlife must know. Last year the area in my photos had below average precipitation and this year it was much higher. Changing climate, short term and long term, affects the whole ecosystem.
Wow. Excellent photos.
Thank you. I wish I would have had a big lens!